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Integration Of An Intelligent Tutoring System With A Web Based Authoring System To Develop Online Homework Assignments With Formative Feedback

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Instructional Methods and Tools in BME

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.770.1 - 13.770.12



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Paper Authors

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Robert Roselli Vanderbilt University

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Stephen B. Gilbert Clearsighted, Inc.

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Stephen B. Blessing University of Tampa

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Larry Howard Vanderbilt University

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Aditya Raut Vanderbilt University

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Puvi Pandian Iowa State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Integration of an Intelligent Tutoring System with a Web-based Authoring System to Develop Online Homework Assignments with Formative Feedback

Abstract. A web-based authoring tool, developed using VaNTH CAPE technology, is used to construct innovative online assignments that provide students with real time formative feedback as they attempt to solve quantitative engineering problems. The interactive system has found favor with instructors, teaching assistants and students. Because each step taken by the student in the problem solution is recorded by the accompanying learning management system, students and instructors can easily review modules to determine where the student went wrong. This approach also frees Teaching Assistants from the necessity of grading homework, most of which are worked correctly, and allows them to spend time with the students who most need their help. Because of the many options available in the authoring tool, novice developers often find it relatively difficult to design, construct and debug adaptive learning modules. The purpose of this work is to develop an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) that can be integrated with the authoring tool to provide personal guidance to new users as they develop homework problems. Previous ITSs have proved useful to learners in a wide variety of different domains, such as algebra, chemistry, and physics, resulting in gains of over one standard deviation. Clearsighted, Inc. has teamed with VaNTH to develop a version of the web authoring tool that allows information to flow between the ITS and the authoring tool. What is most interesting regarding this work is that the CAPE-based authoring tool was developed and works as its own stand-alone web-based application. Using Clearsighted, Inc.’s tools, an ITS was constructed that required no modification to the original authoring tool. The resulting ITS provides immediate feedback in a tutorial setting, offering help when requested and adaptive just-in-time messages, as well as noting incorrect actions. All of this feedback, from the user’s point of view, seemingly comes from the authoring tool. A series of tutorials have been developed that will provide guidance to new users as they develop online homework assignments. Evaluation of the system is done by comparing authoring tasks performed by groups who learned to author without using the integrated system to groups performing the same tasks with the ITS. Introduction Most activities related to engineering coursework performed outside the classroom are passive, including reading assignments, web searches and typical engineering problem sets. Passive learning environments provide few opportunities for students to discover their misconceptions. Without timely feedback, students are often completely unaware of mistakes they may have made or misconceptions they had while completing a paper and pencil assignment. Immediate formative assessment in online assignments can help students realize that they made a mistake or did not fully understand a particular concept, and allow them to get back on track as they progress toward the learning goals1. The VaNTH ERC has developed a learning technology infrastructure2 that enables educators to create innovative online assignments which provide students with real time formative feedback as they attempt to solve quantitative engineering problems3. This infrastructure consists of a visual language-based authoring technology called CAPE (Courseware Authoring and Packaging Environment) and a web-based delivery platform called eLMS (experimental Learning

Roselli, R., & Gilbert, S. B., & Blessing, S. B., & Howard, L., & Raut, A., & Pandian, P. (2008, June), Integration Of An Intelligent Tutoring System With A Web Based Authoring System To Develop Online Homework Assignments With Formative Feedback Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4020

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